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  #11  
Old 11-13-2012
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Re: First boat, no experiance, what to get?

One thing about a Sunfish is its possible to carry in a pickup bed or on the roof of a station wagon. In my opinion its really the biggest possible cartopper at about 130 lbs. But its still a heck of a little boat, I love it. Have had countless wonderful sails with it. Self bailing and unsinkable.

When not in use, my Sunfish lives in my garage up on its side against a wall and takes up about a foot and a half of garage width.

Last edited by Sal Paradise; 11-13-2012 at 03:21 PM.
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  #12  
Old 11-13-2012
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Re: First boat, no experiance, what to get?

I would get something that's sloop-rigged, like a Lido or an FJ (or a bizzillion other dinghy models). You can still sail them without the jib at first (a.k.a., "bald-headed") and then add the complications of a jib when you have mastered the basics. Once you've learned to sail a sloop you'll have the skill-set needed to sail well over 90% of the bigger boats out there.

Whatever you get, sail the bejeezus out of it. Classes are fine, but nothing will really teach you like sailing on your own.
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  #13  
Old 11-13-2012
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Re: First boat, no experiance, what to get?

As Slowbutsteady said, a sloop-rigged boat is best for learning. Yes, a Laser is fun, but it doesn't teach the same lessons.

My thoughs on small boats, which I love:
Sail Delmarva: The Merits of Learning to Sail on a Small Boat
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  #14  
Old 11-13-2012
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Re: First boat, no experiance, what to get?

I'd recommend a 15-17' centerboard daysailer w/ a cuddy cabin. O'Day and many other companies made a bazillion of them; they should be easy to buy and sell. My first love was a Luger 16 named 'Charged Particle'.

You'll need a trailer, but they are easy to setup and breakdown. No prob to singlehand, but can also take up to 4 adults and a cooler for a full day of sailing. Most important for a nervous partner, you sit 'in' them, not 'on' them.

You can get by with just a paddle, but you could fit an engine (2-3hp will make it go nearly light speed).

Good luck,

Ken
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Old 11-13-2012
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Re: First boat, no experiance, what to get?

I second what Slowbutsteady said "sail the bejeezus out of it". There is great wind in your area and that's where I started to sail, mostly singlehanded. I was new to sailing and made every stupid mistake you can make. But after a while you realize that you rarely make the same mistake twice. Get out there and spend as much time on her as you can spare. You can fun even if you're knuckles turn white some of the time!
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Old 11-14-2012
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Re: First boat, no experiance, what to get?

Just a note on used Sunfish day sailors: many of the older, cheaper hulls will take on water after being sailed for a while. If the hull takes on enough water the boat can become difficult to impossible to sail. The same warning would apply to any closed hull day sailor like the Laser and even Hobie cat hulls.
You may very well find a place that will rent you a boat in this category. That way you could try it before shelling out more for your very own.
G'luck.
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  #17  
Old 11-14-2012
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Re: First boat, no experiance, what to get?

Yeah, rentals in your size range will tell you what you'd like best. Sunfish is a great investment and a great one to learn on. Any boat that you can carry the sail rig from your car and slip into the hull with no help will likely get more use. I used to carry one years ago on top of a Datsun 510. When you tire of it, you'll prob get your money back for moving up. Just don't get one that's waterlogged.

Here's a lot of boat for the money....similar to a sunfish. Maybe you can find something in your area.
http://norfolk.craigslist.org/boa/3356102199.html

Last edited by Sea Dawg; 11-14-2012 at 11:47 AM.
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  #18  
Old 11-14-2012
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Re: First boat, no experiance, what to get?

Hey I think a lot of us have been in your shoes before.

When I was 19 I was. I bought a Catalina 13 Cyclone. It's a 13' sailboat with just a mainsail. I trailered it everywhere, and it was fun, but I GOT BORED QUICK. Adding a little jib on these day sailors doesn't really complicate things, you're going to have to (and want to) learn it eventually if you stick with sailing, and when you start to feel bored, it becomes another sail and sheet to trim and pay attention too, which is nice.

Trust me, you'll get envy of guys with jibs and a place to sit and relax like on a Lido (14' or Catalina 14.2 or a Coronado 15. (And those have trapeze lines which could be fun for a crew)

Buy something that mimics larger sailboats by the way it's controlled - trust me that's what you want. You want a jib, traveler, boom vang, tiller extension, downhauls, outhauls, side stays, and a small space for storage (backpack, cooler, warm clothes). All of these things are a part of sailing any larger boat, so don't stop yourself short with a single sail and too simple of a boat. I did, and I had buyers remorse for over a year even though I loved sailing on it. But I kept looking at boats 14'-19' and wanting that. I wanted to do everything the bigger boats did.

Anyway, my opinion is to get something with a jib and a daggerboard/cetnerboard so you can learn everything from the get-go and trailer it/launch it easily. Something that's popular so you can research online how to fix things.

I respect and understand why people are telling you to get a sunfish, but you'll feel bottle-necked after sailing it a couple times. Lazers are fun/fast but one i decent condition still runs expensive, so I would just browse craigslist and other resources, be patient and narrow it down to a few designs you like. There are a lot of GREAT deals up in the bay, I check craislists up there all the time. For $1000 OR LESS you should be able to get a reliable, clean, good sailboat with a good trailer from a good owner, and then have some money to spare for new parts and any modifications (you will immediately think about) and gear if you need it.

Lido 14's have an excellent traditional following, but in that price range make sure their flaws have been fixed(some are 40+ years old, waterlogged transoms, etc)
Coronado 15's are fast and fun, a little sensitive and wet. But usually inexpensive.
Catalina 14.2 is an overall excellent safe bet. Lots out there, jib/main, high boom, bench seating, cuddy storage space. catalina supplies all the parts.

If you go the route of getting something really small and really simple, you will be sailing alone all the time and being bored. Then when you go to sell it, you will lose money. That's how owning a boat works. (there are rare exceptions)

I'll say it another way: If you have something with a jib, some even come with little optional spinnakers, and you sail by next to 25' - 50' sailboats with the same kind concept of sails and controls, you'll be glad you've learned everything at once on your boat, and you're doing the same thing as them. If you have a dinky oversized windsurfboard with a mainsheet and a tiny hole for your legs to fit into while your upper body is soaking wet, you'll feel like you're failing to imitate the kind of real sailing all the real sailors get to do with bigger boats.

Buying something that seems a little complicated at first, isn't scary after using it once, nor is it like skipping a step in the learning process. You'll learn a bunch from a few hands-on sailing courses if you choose to take those, and be over the super simple dinghy sailboats right away. If you don't take a course, for your first time sailing, go with someone who knows how to sail. It's weird what kind of misconceptions some people have, if they've never sailed on a boat before. You'll want the extra lines and sheets and sail(s) to keep you busy and learning how it all works time after time. BTW I'm not a hater on small dinghy boats, they're fun as hell, to a point. I just think that if you're going to drop $1000-$2000 on something to get into the sport, buy a complete set, not a stepping stone. My personal observation, is you meet people who have sailed Lido's for 40 years, and now they're in their 70s & 80's and still enjoying sailing in them -That's because they are so similar to a larger boat, but easier to maintain, and comfortable (dry) to sail for a few hours. I have yet to see a 70 year old on a lazer, crawling on hands and knees, shivering from their soaked clothes, and slouching over from having nothing to rest their back on... that's probably why I've never seen it. Everyone gets over it, and moves on to something a little bigger, with a little more to do.
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Last edited by Philzy3985; 11-14-2012 at 01:59 PM.
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  #19  
Old 11-17-2012
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Re: First boat, no experiance, what to get?

Well one day my plan is to end up with a nice thunderbird.
But until then I wanted something small and easy, and something I could right if I capsize all by myself. Cuz I know it's going to happen..... More than once

Thanks for all of the ideas, I have been resurching most of the models you have suggested.
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Old 11-17-2012
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Re: First boat, no experiance, what to get?

I think a nice fiberglass thunderbird would be nice but I don't know how to sail it, I don't have a place to keep it, or a way to ship it back to Seattle in 18 months when I am done working
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